How to Take Effective Notes in Class


By Denver Regine Lark

Denver is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

Taking notes is one of the most tedious tasks where it’s imperative to write down what’s not only important but what you feel is essential to remember that your professor emphasized in class. The first thing is to come to class prepared with paper, pens, books, laptop and whatever else you may need. Now that I have become a note-taker for the Office of Veteran & Disability Support Service for North Carolina A&T State University, I’ve not only learned how vital it is to write only what’s important but to use your resources like your phone to copy anything you may possibly miss. Not only does taking notes help when preparing for an exam, but it also forces you to listen more carefully during class lectures. Also, taking your own notes allows you to put concepts in your own terms, making it easier for you to understand them. When taking notes, it is very important to be a keen listener, and always take notes in a way that helps you.

Nothing is more upsetting than having to take notes especially for a difficult class, and not being able to copy exactly what you need. When taking effective notes, copy only what you don’t know. It is pointless to waste time copying what you already know and not have time to copy what you don’t. Then spend vital time studying what you already know. Also, taking notes directly from what your professor said can help you narrow down the amount of material that may be on the test. However, textbooks also have excessive material that may or may not be on the test. It is very essential to pay close attention in class as professors often give hints or may even explicitly tell you what will be on a test/quiz.

Besides knowing the importance of taking notes, it is very necessary for your notes to be legible and organized not only for yourself and your understanding but possibly for your peers. This will help increase your confidence in studying the correct material and when taking the test. Once you have successfully completed your notes that are legible, and hold your study session, you will be productive and effective, and headed for success.